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last week, i talked to some of the top democrats in the senate side, chuck schumer and dick durbin. i asked them, are you guys putting entitlements on the table going into your white house meeting with the president and the congressional leaders, they said, no, we're not. that's not what we want to talk about. we want to talk about tax cuts. conversely when you look at house speaker john boehner, he talks about putting more revenue on the table but not increasing the tax rates, which is what democrats wan't to do. when they come back on monday and tuesday of next week they are still very far apart with the clock ticking. >> yeah. but how much do you hear the concept of compromise and from the major players? you hear those things, the word compromise being echoed around capital hill to some degree. for those who have to make the compromise, is it there? >> i think so. i think when you look at the tone and the public positioning that these guys have taken coming out of the white house meeting last week, for instance, you had all of the congressional leaders, both on the house and senate
have people, thoughtful members like my old bass, senator dick durbin, saying that everything is on the table but without being specific about it, because they'll do that behind closed doors as they should, frankly. so, yes, i think the left has a tacit sort of acknowledgment that, yes, in fact, there are going to be some painful things that we have to swallow on the left-hand side of the aisle. we should. if the right's going to separate increases, we should accept certain things like testing, et cetera, because at the end of the day this is about compromise. this is also very much, thomas, about the president's ability to show leadership. you hear the republicans harp on and on about obama not showing leadership. they did it before the campaign, during the campaign, and now they're saying, mr. president, we need you to show some leadership. accept tax rate increases without forcing his own party to accept other things on our side. both sides have to share the pain to get the budget balanced and promote this theory of economic fairness. that's what he's doing out there. >> co
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